Renowned Australian cricket journalist, Dennis Freedman believes BCCI’s stunt of making their players wear army caps during the third ODI against Australia is a step to escalate tension between Pakistan and India.
The two neighbouring countries were on the verge of war after the deadly Pulwama Attack that killed 40 Indian soldiers. India blamed Pakistan for the attack and invaded their airspace, claiming a surgical strike on a terror camp. In response, Pakistan shot down two Indian jets and also captured one of their pilots.
“In a time when Imran Khan is calling for peace and sending captured Indian pilot home, a cricket Board is inflaming tension with cheap stunts,” said the Australian journalist.
According to reports, the Board of Cricket Control of India told the International Cricket Council that the motive behind their action is to raise funds rather than making a political statement.
On the other hand, an Indian journalist tweeted that it was done to show solidarity with their army. According to the ICC’s code of conduct, players cannot give any political, religious or racist message through it.
Freedman said that losing lives in a result of a terrorist attack anywhere in the world is a shocking and sad incident and it is not only India that have shown support to their fallen heroes, but it is the way they have done it.
“The way in which a society chooses to do so gives great insight into what is important to them. By wearing camoflauge caps of the cricket field, the BCCI and by extension the ICC, who by their own by-laws are meant to have given permission for such an act, have now built a fundamental link between war and sport,” he said.
Few years back, England’s Muslim all-rounder, Moeen Ali wristbands that read ‘safe Gaza’ and he received a lot of backlash for his act.
“Ask Moeen Ali about the response he got for wearing his Gaza wristband. It was the correct response by the authorities. So why should the BCCI and the ICC treat this differently?” Dennis raised the question.
Australia defeated India in the third ODI by 32 runs as they successfully defended their firm target of 314 runs despite Virat Kohli’s 123-run in the game.